Trash

But I love it!

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Valley of the Dolls
(Fox Home Entertainment)
PRESS PLAY My favorite anecdote about Susan Hayward hides in a Nicholas Ray biography. When director Ray first met Hayward before the filming of 1952's The Lusty Men, he launched into one of his characteristic orations about methods of acting. Hayward knitted. Ray jabbered. After a while she cut him short. "Listen, honey, I'm from Brooklyn," she said with a trademark from-the-gut growl that could stop a linebacker short. Read more »

Strap it on

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CULT MOVIE It's finally here. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (Fox Home Entertainment), a top contender in my sordid little mind for the greatest movie ever made (next time you see me in a bar and have two or three hours to kill, I can give you the complete list) has arrived in splendid, special-edition DVD form. Has Hollywood ever been so satirically skewered? Has a single film ever crammed in so many genres — musical, comedy, melodrama, youth-gone-wild, slasher? Has the Bentley vs. Read more »

Queen of the double feature

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HORROR-LARITY If there's anything better than peaches and cream, it would have to be Peaches and Elvira. Read more »

Slay time!

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THEATER If you love comedy, horror movies, and the singular sensation of being doused with oddly fruity stage blood, you're probably already a Primitive Screwheads fan. If you're not, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the madcap masters of mayhem behind such spectacles as Re-Animator of the Dead: The Tale of Herbert West and the inimitable Evil Dead: Live. Read more »

TOKYO DRIFT-ER

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Before the pinks start flying, let's get the snap critique out of the way: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is completely ri-drift-ulous. Start with the deeply tanned, pastel-loving, hella-bleached-blond ganguro girls (now with highly buoyant boob jobs!), proceed to the silly gang-drifting scene down a mountain (why not make it Mt. Read more »

Grand Theft Auto with goombahs

The Godfather
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(Electronic Arts; PS2, Xbox, Windows XP)
GAMER This game is not bad. It's no God of War, but really, nothing is or ever will be. Godfather is Grand Theft Auto with bits from the beloved Coppola movie used as story line guidance and inspiration.
You play a character who lives on the periphery of the Corleone family, making his way up the Ragu-stained mafioso ladder. Read more »

Tonight is what it means to be young

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TEEN FLICKS In the late ’70s and early ’80s a funny thing happened at the movies: Suddenly aware of a whole pocket-moneyed demographic betwixt Disney and the R rating, major studios began targeting a median audience, aged 15. (Ultimately they'd even get their very own designation, PG-13.) An explosion of post-Meatballs teen comedies soon replaced sex farce fucking and wanking with peeping and pranking. Read more »

Ficks's picks (and one no-pick) at Cannes

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1. John Cameron Mitchell's midnight premiere of his sensitively X-rated Shortbus not only roused the Palais's audience to a 15-minute standing ovation (a legendary feat); it brought out some of the deepest tears I have shed in my short life. Warning: The MPAA (which we now finally understand, due to Kirby Dick's revolutionary exposé This Film Is Not Yet Rated) won't know where to start with this sucker. It's much more than the graphic sex; it's the graphic honesty. Read more »

Shooting the shit

Black
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(Electronic Arts; PS2, Xbox)

GAMER Black is a first-person shooter game in which you play a soldier killing for some kind of shadowy government "special ops" group. Games like this are a little strange politically. They always seem to have some kind of subtext geared for Ruby Ridge types. Creepy. The makers of Black, however, were good enough to make the enemies white, at least. Apparently Russia is still some kind of threat to America. Whatever.Read more »

Cannes journal #2:

Midnight for Maniacs programmer vs. rude blue light specialists
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FEST REPORT Cannes shocker! Grown men and women are opening up their gawddamn BlackBerrys and cell phones to check, send, and even leave messages during the actual screenings! Who would have guessed that audiences at the Cannes Film Festival, the "greatest film festival in the world," would act just like the audiences at the Century 20 in Daly City, California?Read more »